It’s halfway through 2020 and Covid-19 continues to tear through the world as the-commerce industry tries to adjust to the “new norm.”
The Coronavirus pandemic has brought with it some strange changes in consumer behavior. People are now spending 50% more time online due to social distancing directives. Yet, e-commerce sales have dropped by 14%.
Simply put, your customers are online, but they’re not buying.
Add that to the impact of Covid-19 on manufacturing, and you have product shortages, tight-fisted customers, and logistical issues on your hands.
As an Amazon advertiser, the odds might seem heavily stacked against you, but with the right strategies, you can survive and even thrive amidst this covid-19 crisis. Here are a few useful strategies we came up with to help you adjust to the new world:
1. Take advantage of reduced CPC
2. Lean into Amazon Sponsored Brands Ads
3. Consider inventory levels and shipping ability when running ads
4. Keep an eye on shifting product demand
5. Monitor changes in average order volume
Let’s dive right in and break down these strategies.
#1. Take advantage of reduced CPC
One of the unintended consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic is the decrease in average CPC. When the Covid-19 epidemic started spreading in the U.S, most sellers reacted just like every other person reacts to a crisis – by keeping their money close. The result was a mass exodus of sellers from the Amazon advertising auction, which in turn resulted in decreased CPC.
For brands with the resources, this exodus would be an excellent opportunity to take advantage of the low CPC to get ahead of the competitors. The results will be even more outstanding for brands selling items that customers need in these tough times since conversion rates for such products have increased significantly.
#2. Lean into Amazon Sponsored Brand Ads
Almost everyone is spending more hours at home now, either in self-isolation or working from home. Inevitably, screen time at home has increased, and far more people are prone to casually browsing on Amazon as the new form of “window shopping.” You can take advantage of this to get more eyeballs on your brand using the Amazon Sponsored Brand Ads.
Amazon Sponsored Brand Ads allow you to increase brand exposure through brand messaging, imagery, and a product catalog that engages people and encourages them to shop.
The truly great thing about Amazon Sponsored Brand Ads is that you pay for clicks, not impressions. This means that you’ll only be paying for active leads with a high chance of converting to customers.
#3. Consider Inventory Levels and Shipping Ability When Running Ads
Some product categories have seen an upsurge of demand in this crisis. Just a few months ago, Amazon limited FBA shipments to high-demand essential product categories. The change resulted in all other FBA product shipments getting delayed for up to a month.
When running Amazon ads, inventory levels, and shipping ability are quite critical to your success. Before running ads, you want to ensure that you have enough inventory to feed the demand, especially for essential items. You also need to ensure that you have the shipping capacity to get the items to the customer on time.
In case you’re faced with a scenario of Amazon restricting FBA shipments as it did a few months ago, it’d be in your best interest to look for an alternative fulfillment model.
#4. Keep an eye on Shifting Product Demand
The current Covid-19 crisis has disrupted shopping trends with some categories seeing a significant decrease in demand, while other categories experience a sharp spike in demand. It’s imperative to track product demand shifts and adjust your ads, and ad spends accordingly.
If you see a previously hot-selling item decreasing in demand, we’d suggest lowering your bids or turning off the ads altogether. For items that show a significant increase in demand, we’d recommend increasing your bids and creating ads for them if you hadn’t already.
#5. Monitor Changes in Average Order Volume
The average order volume for essential products like sanitizers, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and face masks has increased. Meanwhile, the order volume of non-essential products has decreased significantly. Now, many sellers might be tempted to increase the prices of these essential products, but Amazon is very keen on price regulation. Price gouging is grounds enough to have your account suspended by Amazon.
If you’re running ads, you’ll need to consider the average order volume of the items you advertise and focus on items with the highest average order volume. Increase your bids on items with increased order volume.
If you notice an item experiencing decreasing order volume, lower your bid or close the ad altogether. You want to focus on the winners at this point, and the winners are the products people need in these difficult times.
Navigating the rest of the year
Corona Virus has turned the e-commerce world upside down, and adapting to this “new world” might seem like a near impossible feat. But adapting is the only move left if you want to remain profitable during and after this crisis. With the right implementation, our strategies will help you run profitable ads on Amazon and set a solid foundation for a thriving business during and after the Covid-19 crisis.